Crash Analysis: BLACK SUNDAY (1960 Italy)

No blimps were harmed in the making of this film.

A witch seeks revenge by trying to possess a descendent.

I was impressed with this “Citizen Kane of Horror Films” as special effects master and actor Tom Savini had put it.

The story is enticing and is delivered quite well with strong special effects makeup for the era, though the “bat” scene is ridiculously weak as one would expect. Like Argento, Bava has a great command of light and shadow, which he uses to the tales advantage in this black-and-white feature.

The only weaknesses were the audio and audio effects that apparently plague many an Italian film from the sixties to the eighties. And, when the characters are in an emotional frenzy, the dialogue takes a melodramatic downfall along with the actors’ delivery. If you find yourself sputtering a laugh, it’s just a natural reaction.

Regardless of its shortcomings, this is worth the time.

3.5 out of 5 stars

2 Replies to “Crash Analysis: BLACK SUNDAY (1960 Italy)”

  1. Bill Prystauk giving a positive review to an Italian horror film?! I may faint from shock. Seriously, though: it’s been years since I’ve seen Black Sunday, but I recall it being somewhat slow and dull. Bava was great at pouring on the Gothic atmosphere, but I found it to have a lulling effect. And I have never understood the appeal of Barbara Steele.

  2. For whatever reason, I just got caught up in the story – and the atmosphere. As for Barbara Steele, her beauty depended upon how the light hit her. Sometimes she had a “girl next door” quintessence – at other times, she looked like a bugged out psychopath.

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